Coronavirus: China seeks solution to unemployment crisis with flexible jobs

Coronavirus: China seeks solution to unemployment crisis with flexible jobs

  • Many struggling workers in China are taking part-time jobs such as street vending and construction to make ends meet
  • When winter comes, many outdoor jobs in the nation’s colder regions will disappear, putting low- and medium-income groups at risk

In June, Qiu Xiaogang decided to close his Happy Noodle Shop near an expressway in northern China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region and set up a street food stand to sell grilled meat skewers.

It was the second time this year that Qiu had been forced to close his shop. The first was during a coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown. To make ends meet then, he did a short stint at a construction site, moving bricks for about 200 yuan (US$29) a day.

After the lockdown ended in May, he returned to his shop, but his income was too small to make up for the 60,000 yuan (US$8,663) he had lost from the shop’s closure.